One in five – 3,364 – of New Zealand’s registered sheep and beef farmers have cast their vote at the halfway mark in the 2015 Sheepmeat and Beef Levy Referendum.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chairman James Parsons said the turnout was pleasing and he was encouraging farmers to vote before the voting closes on September 10.
“It is important for farmers to have their say and ensure that the organisation has a strong mandate to continue its activities on behalf of farmers.”
By the end of this week, farmers throughout the country will have had the opportunity to attend one of the 53 referendum information meetings being hosted by B+LNZ directors, the local farmers of the B+LNZ Farmer Council and members of B+LNZ’s senior management team.
“At this midpoint, we’ve seen over 600 farmers turn out to talk to us and hear what their organisation is planning in the next six year levy cycle.
“There’s good awareness among farmers and we want to make sure that’s turned into active participation in the vote,” Parsons said.
B+LNZ carries out regular independent research to monitor its performance and guide its delivery of activities farmers have said are important to them. This is work farmers have agreed they can’t carry out as individuals and includes a strong coordinated voice on their behalf on issues like health and safety, environment, market access and trade policy, market development, research and development and attracting bright young people into the industry.
Parsons said because it’s important for the organisation to have a strong mandate to continue its activities on farmer’s behalf, it wants to make sure all farmers know now is the time to vote to continue the organisation.
Farmers should have received their voting packs by now, so any who haven’t should call 0800 233 352. Voting closes on 10 September. Postal votes need to be in the mail by 5 September and after that date all votes will need to be cast online by following the prompts on beeflambnz.com/referendum.